Funny how perspective alters perception. What was a long ride to work, now often seems like a quick, painless hop on a Monday morning after an epic weekend. (And at yet others is still the longest ride in the world.) Like popping to the corner shop for milk, 25 miles pass in the blink of an eye.
One person's much-vaunted 'New Year Ride' makes my seventh consecutive January day on the bike and would bring the mileage up to 300 for the week. Part timers.
Riding, riding, riding.
And in the meantime the rest of my life is crumbling at the seams. It's a juggling act in which I completely fail to keep any of the balls in the air and instead just hold tightly onto the easy one whilst the rest roll aimlessly around my feet.
Clean socks are a thing of the past and I have resorted to pairing up the odd ones. Anything that takes longer than overnight to dry stays in the washing basket whilst the same quick-dry, easy-access kit is on heavy rotation. Heaven forbid I should have to go out...
All the bikes are dirty. All the time. Not mud-dirty, not the stuff that falls on the kitchen floor and so must be removed mostly in good time and before they come into the house, but drive-dirty. That black, sticky, tenacious muck that takes a concerted effort to remove from the chain and sprockets and is easier to just, well, clean around...
Pleasure in food is a once-weekly festival where I cook a supper big enough that the leftovers do for the rest of the week, and bake bread and flapjacks to keep me going in between times, when I get home too late for supper and need something 'real' to satiate the curious hollow/full feeling of Rego. The punching and kneading of the dough being good and different thinking time, making up for the focus that riding's become.
And pleasure in riding is reserved for a moment sitting on top of the hill just looking, thinking, soaking up memories both present and past for the future; and for the glow of the last hill of a 130 mile day. Few are greater. Except maybe good, strong, hot sweet tea.
The work doesn't get done.
The planning remains loose.
And I have worn out a saddle through sheer mileage, not old age, for the first time in my life.
At some point in the very near future I am going to have to back off on the miles a bit (okay, a lot), both to focus on some speed and power (more singlespeed, yay), and to claw back some semblance of reality (more real world, boo). But before that, Cyclogs tells me that I'm up to 505 miles already this month, in my conservatively straight-lined, haphazard, Google-mapped mileage count.
That means that 1,000 for January is achievable.
Cover me, I'm going in...